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Author Topic: One of THOSE Days...  (Read 911 times)

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Offline KatalinaTopic starter

One of THOSE Days...
« on: December 01, 2011, 08:37:34 PM »
Katalina walked into the coffee shop and up to the counter, already knowing what she wanted to order. The pimply teenager behind it looked at her completely uninterested in her and in his job in general. Weren't they all like that these days?

"May I help you?" He said to her, or rather, he mumbled.

"Yes," she started as she pulled out her wallet. "Could I please have the small mocha coffee?"

"That'll be $3.75. Anything else?"

Katalina shook her head and handed her debit card over the counter and, when asked, declined her receipt. She went and found an armchair to sit in. Someone would bring her coffee to her when it was ready - something she sort of liked about the place. It wasn't too great for quick coffee stops, but it was nice if you just wanted a place to hang out.

Soon the same uninterested teenager came out with her coffee. Of course it was just her luck that when he reached her, he stumbled and spilled some of her coffee on her.

"OW!" Katalina couldn't help but gasp.

The teenager actually looked apologetic as he set her coffee down on the table next to her and hurried to get some napkins for her. He returned with them and handed them to her, apologized, then went back behind the counter. Katalina glowered at him for a moment before she went about trying to blot out the coffee in her jeans.

Offline station23

Re: One of THOSE Days...
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2011, 08:57:43 PM »
Stacey sat at her typical seat at the typical coffee house drinking her typical drink. Needless to say, she'd been here a few times. It was a part of her routine, and if you knew Stacey, you knew she liked her routines.

Up at 5:45.
Showered and dressed by 6:30.
Out of the door by 7:00.

That leaves just enough time to have a cup of java and a biscotti for breakfast while flipping through the local paper, which is precisely what she was doing. Sure, the people often changed, sometimes a new face behind the counter, sometimes someone would be sitting at her table. These things tended to ruffle Stacey's feathers, and she had on more than one occasion, bribed the person in her spot to find another spot, far far from her table.

But this morning had gone rather smoothly. Just as she had wrapped her hands around her coffee order, black of course, she noticed an older couple meandering over to her corner. Stacey hastened her step, having to go around a few tables to arrive just moments before they grabbed one of the adjoining chairs. Stacey smiled smugly and flipped her paper open, relaxing a bit once the couple were out of her line of sight.

Just as she began to immerse herself into this morning's hot topics, she heard a commotion and a rather loud "OW" from the girl sitting at one of the plush chairs next to her table. Stacey never dared sit in those things herself... The germs! Could you imagine? The mere thought made Stacey shudder. But the continued grumbling from the teenager from behind the counter brought Stacey back.

Peering over her paper at the victim of the barista's clumsyness, she watched as the young girl attempted to dry up the coffee mess with paper napkin. Stacey tsk'd to herself before sighing rather loudly. While she went out of her way to avoid interaction with strangers, especially messy strangers, she couldn't let the poor girl keep making such a mess. There was now napkins all over and it was making Stacey uncomfortable. Reaching into her bag, she pulled out a small container of fabric wipes. Stacey was always prepared.

"Ahem," Stacey cleared her throat as she reached her hand over towards the girl. Of course, Stacey made absolutely no effort to move any closer to the girl. If she wanted to wipe, she would have to get up and get it herself. But, Stacey felt as if she were the patron Saint of tidiness just by offering.

"Excuse me, miss?" Stacey waved the wipe in the air, hoping to get the girls attention before the mess got any bigger.

Offline KatalinaTopic starter

Re: One of THOSE Days...
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2011, 09:10:30 PM »
Katalina kept dabbing napkins at the spill. Luckily it wasn't too big, but it was still quite obvious and a real pain in the neck. She sighed and hoped that she wasn't blushing too badly from embarrassment. She heard someone clear their throat, but didn't realize it was directed at her until she heard a woman's voice in front of her.

"Excuse me, miss?" The woman said to her, and Katalina looked up and smiled at the woman. She saw the offering of wipes, and she took them with a sincere "Thank you!".

Katalina tried wiping at the stain, and it came up a little bit. She'd have to give the jeans a good wash when she got home. She set the wipes aside and turned her attention back to the woman.

"Thank you for that! Wonderful start to the morning, huh?" Katalina pulled some hand sanitizer out of her purse and squirted a bit into her hands. After sanitizing, she offered her hand to the woman. "Katalina Tomaresca."

Offline Codswallop

Re: One of THOSE Days...
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2011, 09:42:31 PM »
“Pardon, me ma’am.  I’m terribly sorry about that,” Lucas offered, arriving on the scene with a proper towel and a fresh coffee.   “The kid’s a brand new guy.  If you’d like something to eat, it’s on the house.”

Lucas continued his apologies as he set about cleaning the table.  Oh, please don’t let her be one of those crazy people who’ll sue me over this, he thought furiously.  The coffee shop was his pride and joy, but it hadn’t been doing as well lately as it used to.  Thank goodness, it didn't appear that anyone had gotten burned, but it didn’t help that the second woman seemed to recoil from him a bit when he leaned over to wipe up the last of the spatter.

“Uh, there,” he said, stepping back a bit more hastily than he intended and stuffing the towel into the tie of his apron.  “Do you, uh... need a place to wash up?"

Offline station23

Re: One of THOSE Days...
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2011, 09:58:21 PM »
Stacey sniffed rather loudly as the woman pulled the proffered wipe out of her hand. Withdrawing her own hand rather quickly, Stacey continued to watch the young woman as she continued to tidy up, wiping the coffee off of her jeans... but never quiet getting them clean. The girl then stood up straighter and said something about her morning. Stacey looked back down at her paper when the girl shoved her hand towards her and said brightly, "Katalina Tomaresca".

Stacey started to recoil when the shop's owner, Lucas, stumbled over with his apologies and a fresh cup of coffee for the girl. Lucas was a very familiar face to Stacey, as she was in his shop 5 days a week. She was almost certain that she had heard the baristas whispering to him about how crude she had acted towards them, or how other customers had complained about her. But he had never said anything to her about it, so she wasn't sure if he was just the cowardly type, or just hoping to keep his business afloat by accommodating more 'difficult' regular customers. Either way, Stacey had never thought much of the man and in all her times coming here, had never said a word to him today. That is, until now.

"She needs a shower, and not of the java variety, I'd say."

Stacey slid the paper away from her and picked up her cup once again, bringing it to her ruby red lips. By now the coffee had cooled, but not to the point where it tasted like crud. After taking a sip, she let her eyes roam over Lucas as he was preoccupied and fiddling with his apron. No, he wasn't totally unattractive. Definitely more of a 'working man' type than she normally goes for. With her career and late hours, most of her dates have consisted of fellow colleagues, and 90% of the time it was just about work. So yeah, not really dates.. she had just talked herself into thinking they were dates so she wouldn't feel like such a failure in the romance department. Sighing inwardly, Stacey pulled her eyes away from Lucas' mouth and attempted to pay more attention to the conversation.

"So Lucas, it is Lucas right?"

Offline KatalinaTopic starter

Re: One of THOSE Days...
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2011, 10:08:37 PM »
Katarina stood and retracted her pro-offered hand. This woman was clearly not the gabby or meet-new-people type. Until the shop owner walked over and started fussing over the mess. Stacey's attention was quickly diverted to him and Katarina stifled a small 'hmph'. She smiled at the owner.

"That's alright, accidents happen. I honestly think I've washed up the best I can, with thanks to you," she said and nodded her gratitude - again - to the woman whose name she didn't know. She tried not to laugh too much at the woman's joke, but she giggled a little - it was rather funny.

Offline Codswallop

Re: One of THOSE Days...
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2011, 10:39:50 PM »
“Lucas would, indeed, be me,” he said, instinctively checking that his gormless employee hadn’t gotten himself into any more trouble.  He was a nice enough kid, but inattentive and a total klutz, which was a remarkably bad combination in a coffee shop.  If he didn’t turn around soon, they were going to have to have a serious conversation, and the kid wasn’t going to enjoy it much.

He turned his attention back to his customers, and gave Stacey a warm smile almost to spite her.  She was a regular, and notorious for being… well, let’s say particular.  That was fine, though, Lucas considered such people a challenge.

“I’m glad you’re all right,” he said to Katalina.  “Sorry about that, it’s my fault for building this place on that old Indian burial ground.  Once you get used to the walls bleeding, it’s not too bad though.”

Lucas found himself lingering, and cast another look over his shoulder to make sure the kid had a grip on things.  Katalina was really quite charming, and this was the first time Stacey had said deigned to say so much as ‘hello’, so he wasn’t in a hurry to get back to work just yet.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2011, 10:46:31 PM by Codswallop »

Offline station23

Re: One of THOSE Days...
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2011, 10:57:01 AM »
Stacey just looked at Lucas, unblinking, as he attempted to make a joke. A bad one at that. She waited for a moment to see if anything else was forthcoming from this lips of his, and when he remained silent, Stacey raised on perfectly arched brow.

"Indian burial ground, hmm? Well, isn't that just delightful". Still perched in her seat, Stacey looked from Katalina to Lucas, before glancing at the clock on the wall. Almost 7:40, she had a meeting at 8:00 but luckily her office was across the street. She could often peer out of her 12th floor office window and see the red and white canopy of the small flower shop that was next door to Lucas' coffee shop. Often she would catch hersel hoping to catch a glimpse of the shop owner, but more often than not he was tied up inside or out on an errand. Stacey stood now, and brushed the small crumbs from her pencil skirt before stepping out from behind the table. Clearing her throat, she closed the space between her and Lucas. She withdrew her business card and looked directly into his eyes before saying, "Dry cleaning is on me. Call Luis on 2nd Avenue and tell him to bill it to me. "

"My number," Stacey continued, inching closer to her prey, " is on this card. Please, let me know if I can be of any further assistance." She let her gaze trail down to his boots before snapping back up to those eyes. And with out so much as a word for the young girl who's clothes she was offering to pay to have cleaned, Stacey walked out the door and off to work.

Offline KatalinaTopic starter

Re: One of THOSE Days...
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2011, 04:08:26 PM »
Katalina smiled at Lucas, then frowned and rolled her eyes as the woman stepped in between her and Lucas, and got all up in his face. The woman really was on the prowl, and clearly had her target set. Kat put her hands on her hips, thinking to herself, This is a coffee house for Christ's sake! The woman thrust her card at the man, and while Kat was happy for the dry cleaning offer, the attitude was sort of wearing on her. The woman strutted out of the shop.

"Well, she's... interesting," Katalina said, trying to stay positive, and watched the woman leave. She turned her attention back to Lucas. "Indian burial ground, eh? Tell me more."

Offline Codswallop

Re: One of THOSE Days...
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2011, 09:50:10 PM »
The main reason Lucas had bought this frumpy space and made it as welcoming and comfortable as he could wasn’t that caffeinated drinks were the only thing people still bought in quantity.  His true fascination was people.  Lucas enjoyed watching the careful interplay of personality type versus personality type, sharing and sometimes grappling for the same space.  He admired the college students for their enthusiasm, and could converse for hours as they worked on their papers and scripts.  Alternately, during the day when his clientele was more of the professional stripe, Lucas often kept his mouth shut and his ears open.  No need for gory details, but it was amazing what self-proclaimed ‘powerful’ people would talk about over coffee.

For someone who felt he had a reasonable nose for humanity, Stacey offered an interesting puzzle.  Crisp, clean, and cold, she didn’t even seem to like his shop much, yet was in here every day.  She had immaculate personal habits that occasionally made him wonder if she was a germophobe to some degree.  If her suit wasn’t tailor-made somewhere in Europe, he’d eat his apron.

For Lucas’ part, if his clothes were clean, he didn’t particularly care how ironed they were.  The only time he’d ever worn a suit was to court, and he’d borrowed that one.  What someone of Stacey’s disposition might consider slovenly was in fact a different set of priorities.  Clothes come off at the end of the day.

Lucas pocketed the card, smiling and waving to Stacey as she departed.  Friendly, like she was an old, dear acquaintance.  Sure, it was petty as hell, but her annoyance at his goofballery has been clear as day and so Lucas was twice as determined to maintain it.  He had to have a little fun.

"Well, she's... interesting," said Katalina, seeming a bit taken aback by the tension Stacey had left in her wake.  "Indian burial ground, eh? Tell me more."

“Oh, no worries,” said Lucas, smiling with his entire face as he always did.  “I bribe them with biscotti on the weekends, so they leave us alone.  I don’t think I’ve seen you in here before, are you down at the university?”  Now that the calamity had passed, the small talk allowed him an initial initial measure of her.  Friendly and open, she seemed confident and was delightful to look at.  To Lucas’ way of thinking, these were all extremely positive things.

Offline KatalinaTopic starter

Re: One of THOSE Days...
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2011, 11:14:08 PM »
Katalina laughed at his joke about the ghosts and biscotta. She liked this guy, Lucas. He was handsome enough, and had a sense of humor. She understood that originally he'd come over to help clean up the spill, but he was open enough to stick around and chat a bit. She liked that.

Kat nodded in answer to his question.

"Yeah, I'm a senior at the university nearby. I don't always take time to come in and sit, y'know." She smiled and blushed a little. She wouldn't admit that it wasn't always that she lacked the time, but that she was often too lazy....